Living in Florida, we’ve grown to fear two things. Hurricanes, and alligators. As the eye of Hurricane Irma passed over our neighborhood in 2017, it left us with a sense of dread and panic unlike anything we’ve experienced before. Now, in 2019, Alexandre Aja, a director known for his gory imagery, has decided to combine our two biggest fears on film. Naturally, we jumped at the chance to take our heart monitor into the theater for this bloodbath set in the Sunshine State. How would a test subject with prior exposure to these Florida threats survive watching Crawl (2019)?

Could these menacing freaks of nature endanger our subject’s physiological responses or will her pulse continue to crawl?


“When a massive hurricane hits her Florida town, young Haley ignores the evacuation orders to search for her missing father, Dave. After finding him gravely injured in their family home, the two of them become trapped by the rapidly encroaching floodwaters. With the storm strengthening, Haley and Dave discover an even greater threat than the rising water level — a relentless attack from a pack of gigantic alligators.”


Test Subject: Leah

Age: 35

Gender: Female

Fears: Coastal Living

Resting HR: 62-65 bpm

Walking HR: 80-85 bpm




Within ten minutes of the film opening our subject was ready to evacuate the theater. By twenty-one minutes jump scares had her pulse racing to 100bpm. The numbers never returned anywhere close to her resting heart rate. As the storm intensified, multiple spikes of 90bpm kept her average extremely high. Even when there were moments of calm, the severe gore and excellent use of sound effects continued to keep our subject’s heart rate heightened. One of our highest recorded peaks came toward the end of the film when she reached 105bpm during an intense survival scene. With the constant barrage of shocking moments, our subject never truly had the chance to relax. This FearScale is a perfect visual representation of the term ‘being on the edge of your seat’.




Crawl (2019) is an intense, fast-moving horror film that makes Jaws feel like a drama. Alexandre Aja created an entirely action based creature feature that immediately attacked our subject at her physiological core. Though the movie had terrifying situations, the excitement of rooting for the characters made it truly entertaining.

Swim to the theater as fast as you can to watch one of the most heart-racing films of the summer. The short runtime of 1:27 means the hurricane has to blow in fast so you can be sure your appetizer of alligator bites will be burned off before the squalls begin.

Crawl: Burns an average of 256 Calories

Alligator Bites: 201 Calories


How many Fear Calories did you burn watching CrawlLet us know over on TwitterInstagramReddit, and in the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook group!